Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Candidates On The Economy

The recent turmoil in the world financial markets gives us one more chance to the the differences in Democrats and Republicans first-hand. Consider the reactions to the Federal Reserve Bank's 3/4 point rate cut early this morning, from the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:

Hillary Clinton -
“This is a global economic crisis,” Clinton said at a news conference early this morning. “It has pushed the Fed into an emergency meeting and a rate cut in an effort to take whatever action can be taken on the monetary side to begin to try to stabilize this situation which is obviously deteriorating.” She went on to say that President Bush already should have convened a “working group on financial markets. … This has to be regulated across markets with regulators here and regulators around the world.”

John McCain -
McCain, on the other hand, didn’t apply the pressure, though he did put in a plug for his stimulus plan, consisting mostly of tax cuts, and a plug for the Fed. “The role of the Federal Reserve is to ensure that our financial markets are well-functioning and to support economic growth,” he explained in a statement. “I am confident that the action taken this morning to cut two key rates will support these goals. The U.S. economy has proven to be quite resilient. I am concerned about financial market events, but with the right leadership and pro-growth policies the economy can weather this upheaval.”

Mitt Romney -

Getting serious — and optimistic — Romney said: “I can tell you from my own personal experience that every time I’ve seen things really get scary and the markets really collapse that I put aside that fear for a moment and say, ‘Ah-ha, is this a buying opportunity?’ Because my experience has always been what goes down, comes back up.”

He then returned to the presidential pitch, saying that restoring the economy’s health “is going to require, I believe, action on the part of leadership in Washington to do those things which will convince the world that America is going to come back strong and our economic foundation is secure.”

If we decode Hillary's feverish panic, we see fear, reactionism, short-sightedness, and a propensity for oversite and regulation. Contrast that with the realism, confidence, optimism, and enthusiasm presented by McCain and Romney.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of either of the Republican candidates, they do understand that the stock markets operate on speculation, fear, and hope. I think that it is obvious which party has a better grasp on moving forward and growing the American economy.

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